To contribute to addressing the negative effects of SALW proliferation, RECSA Secretariat approached the African Development Bank for financial support. The Bank extended a grant of UA 1 Million to RECSA in December, 2014 through a project entitled Technical Assistance and Capacity building project. The major objective of the project was to enhance regional and states stability through reduction of proliferation of small arms. The project had two main components namely institution strengthening and capacity building for RECSA and operationalization of the Nairobi Protocol in selected fragile and nonfragile member states.
Using some of the proceeds of the grant, RECSA commissioned nine studies and has published the following reports:
Fragility situations in Burundi have been in existence for many years owing to the protracted conflicts and the proliferation of illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). Since Independence in 1960, Burundi has experience intermittent conflicts which have left a trail of death, distraction and displacements. In its 2015 ranking, the Fund for Peace ranked the country at position 18 out of 178.
The overall objective of this study was to establish the link between fragility situations and proliferation of illicit SALW and how both impact on human development and livelihoods. Fragility situations in Burundi are characterised by insecurity (83%), presence of armed groups (78%), ungoverned spaces (77%) and the presence of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps (69%). The key drivers of fragility situations were identified as weak governance (84%), protracted conflicts (83%), proliferation of illicit SALW (80%), porous borders (78%) and economic and social exclusion (73%).
The impact of fragility and proliferation of illicit SALW on development and livelihoods has been dire.Populations have been displaced, lives lost and key service delivery institutions disrupted. For instance, the health and transport sectors are dilapidated while unemployment and desperation have contributed towards populations vulnerability to mobilization into armed criminal gangs further sustaining the vicious cycle of insecurity. Economic paralysis and political uncertainty have also contributed to increased poverty levels and significantly hampered foreign investments.
Burundi's government in collaboration with regional and international actors have put in place a number of measures to address fragility and the proliferation of illicit SALW. These initiatives have , however, been reactive,piecemeal and so far largely ineffective. In order to strengthen resilience, the study, recommends the following,strengthening of governance institutions, addressing proliferation of SALW, commitment to implementing comprehensive security sector reform, sensitization and awareness creation, provision of alternative livelihood interventions and post conflict reconstructions.
Proliferation of illicit SALW in the Central African Republic (CAR) has for many years undermined possibilities for state stability, and contributed to continual political crisis in the fragile state. Since its independence from France in 1960, CAR has experienced violent conflicts. The country was recently ranked the third most fragile State in the 2015 Fragility Situations Index by The Fund for Peace.
This study examined the relationship between fragility situations and proliferation of illicit SALW as well as the implications of the two for the development and livelihoods of the people of CAR.
The study found that fragility situations in CAR are manifested by the presence of internally displaced persons(IDPs), and ungoverned spaces. The study established the following as major drivers of fragility situations in the country: weak governance 85%, proliferation of illicit SALW 78%, protracted conflicts 75%, collapsed economy 74% and porous borders 70%.
The impact of fragility situations and proliferation of illicit SALW on development and livelihoods has been dire.
Populations have been displaced, lives lost and the provision of social services disrupted during the conflicts.
Further, unemployment has left populations vulnerable and prone to mobilization into armed criminal gangs thereby creating a vicious cycle of insecurity. Economic paralysis and political uncertainty have increased poverty levels and hampered direct foreign investments.
To build resilience, the study recommends the following: strengthening of governance institutions, management and control of SALW, security sector reforms, and disarmament of ex-combatants and civilians. In a nutshell there is need for a comprehensive post-conflict reconstruction that will integrate human security.
Since its independence from Belgium in 1960, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has experienced armed conflicts and mutinies staged by rebels and pro-government forces leading to fragility situations manifested in the several incidences of forceful takeover of government. The Fund for Peace ranked the DRC 173rd out of 178 countries on the Fragile States Index of 2015.
The overall objective of this research was to establish the nexus between small arms and light weapons (SALW) proliferation and fragility situations and how both impact on human development and livelihoods. Fragility situation in the DRC are manifested by presence of armed groups (80%), peacekeeping forces (71%), IDP camps (70%), ungoverned spaces (69%) and humanitarian agencies (68%) while the drivers of fragility situations were identified as weak governance (89%), protracted conflicts (81%), proliferation of illicit SALW (79%), economic and social exclusion (70%) and porous borders (61%).
The minimal interventions put in place by government in partnership with regional and international actors have largely been inadequate. In order to build resilience, the study recommends strengthening of governance institutions, addressing proliferation of SALW, a comprehensive security sector reform, sensitization and awareness creation, provision of alternative livelihood interventions and post conflict reconstruction.
Fragility situations in Somalia are closely linked to extensive proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons (SALW) following many years of protracted conflicts. Somalia, a country located in the Horn of Africa, emerged from a total collapse in 2004. It however still occupies the last but one spot on the Fragile States Index (FSI),after South Sudan. According to the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) of December 2015, Somalia is the third most destitute country in the World. Violent conflicts and proliferation of SALW have remained protracted phenomena. The protracted conflicts and presence of terrorist networks play negatively on the regional and international security.
The overall objective of this research was to establish the nexus between proliferation of illicit SALW and fragile situations in Somalia, and their impacts on development and livelihoods. Participants in the research included Civil Society Organizations, security agents, religious leaders, government officials, civil service members, academics and the general Somali populace. The research was conducted in different parts of Somalia, including Hargeisa and Burao (in Somaliland), Mogadishu, Jowhar and Afgoye.
On one hand, the findings of the study indicate that fragility situations in Somalia are manifested by proliferation of illicit SALW (75%), the presence of peacekeeping forces (70%) and protracted armed conflict (65%). On the other hand, the key drivers of fragility in Somalia were identified as proliferation of illicit SALW (92%), weak governance institutions (85%), poverty and youth radicalization (80%) and clan politics (71%). However, the manifestations and drivers of fragility vary from one region to another.
The impact of fragility situations in Somalia is profound. The study established that the key affected sectors included security, tourism, foreign direct investment, health, education and infrastructure.
A number of legal frameworks and interventions have been put in place by the Federal Government and the International Community with the objective of addressing the fragility situations. However, the challenges of continued proliferation of illicit SALW, weak governance institutions, clan-based politics, the presence of terrorist and radicalized groups still persists.
The study proposes strengthening of governance institutions, civilian sensitization and disarmaments, security sector reforms, post conflict reconstruction and regional cooperation as key recommendations to deal with the problems of fragility in Somalia.
Since independence in 2011, South Sudan has experienced various violent conflicts. This has resulted in instability and increased levels of poverty. According to the Funds for Peace, the Republic of South Sudan is the most fragile state in the world. Its levels of governance remain low and the propensity for the country to revert to conflicts remains high owing to the current political tensions. Illicit SALW proliferation is at the heart of this insecurity and the human development challenges it creates. Arms have facilitated protracted conflicts both within and outside the country, leading to the disruption of key economic activities and further impoverishment of the population.
The overall objective of this research was to investigate the relationship between proliferation of illicit SALW and fragile situations in South Sudan, and their impacts on development and livelihoods. Participants in the research included Civil Society Organizations, security agents, religious leaders, government officials, civil service members, academics and the general South Sudan populace. The research was conducted in different parts of South Sudan.
The findings of the study indicate that Fragility situations in South Sudan are manifested by proliferation of illicit SALW (85%), protracted armed conflict (76%), presence of internally displaced persons (IDPs) (68%), the presence of peacekeeping forces (65%) and the presence of humanitarian agencies (60%). On the other hand, the keys drivers of fragility in South Sudan are poor governance (76%), protracted conflict (74%), poverty(70%), proliferation of illicit SALW (64%), and ethnic and clan politics (60%).
The impact of fragility situations in South Sudan is profound. The study established that, the key affected sectors included security, tourism, foreign direct investment, health, education and the road infrastructure.
A number of legal frameworks and interventions have been put in place by the government and the international community with the objective of addressing the fragility situations. However, the challenges of protracted conflict, continued proliferation of illicit SALW, weak governance institutions and ethnic and clan-based politics still persists.
In building resilience, the study recommends strengthening of governance institutions, addressing proliferation of illicit SALW, reforming the public and security sectors and post conflict reconstruction among others.
Poaching in Africa is currently at a crisis level with more elephants being poached and the risk of extinction more imminent. It is estimated that close to 30,000 elephants, get poached every year in Africa. If no comprehensive and coordinated action is taken, elephants could soon be extinct. Poaching is used in this study to mean illegal hunting or killing of wildlife for extraction of trophies for sale.
The primary objective of this study was to examine the nexus between proliferation of illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and poaching, and the impact of the two on development and livelihoods. The research was conducted in the Central Africa Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya,Tanzania and Uganda. This report combines the findings from the five countries of study while highlighting manifestations, drivers and impact of poaching, the proliferation of illicit SALW, outlining some existing interventions against poaching and makes various recommendations.
The study revealed that elephants and rhinos are the most poached animals and various actors are involved at local, national, regional and international levels. The lead drivers of poaching were identified as: the proliferation of illicit SALW, porous borders, poverty and exclusion from economic grid, increased global demand for wildlife products and weak legislation and enforcement.
Poaching and proliferation of illicit SALW have had far reaching environmental, political, economic and social impacts. With this realization, various actors at the national, regional and international have put in place measures to address these challenges. However, there are gaps and limitations in legislation, SALW arms control, inter-agency and inter-state collaboration and end-market demand reduction.
The study therefore recommend among others the reduction in the proliferation of illicit SALW, capacity building for law enforcement agencies, dealing with end market users and provision of alternative livelihood for communities living around wildlife protected areas.
Cattle rustling in the Horn and East African regions has existed for many centuries. Traditionally it was sanctioned by elders and played as a game aimed at replenishing lost herds and for cultural practices including dowry payment and as proof of one's manhood and brevity. However, in the last 30 years, the practice changed from a noble practice to a lethal commercial activity involving diverse actors. The extent and seriousness of cattle rustling in the region has largely been attributed to the availability of illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW).
This study sought to establish the nexus between cattle rustling and proliferation of illicit SALW and their impact on development and livelihoods. The study covered five countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Uganda.
The strong correlation between cattle rustling and proliferation of illicit SALW creates a vicious cycle where illicit SALW creates a more violent business of cattle rustling. This in turn leads to higher proceeds, which facilitates the acquisition of more sophisticated illicit SALW. It was also established that in Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia cattle rustling has become more militarised and commercialised. In Somalia, livestock theft has replaced traditional cattle rustling while in Uganda government efforts have seen it reduce to cattle theft.
Proliferation of illicit SALW, porous borders, socio-cultural perceptions, weak legislations and inadequate state presence were identified as the main drivers of cattle rustling. In all the countries of study, governments in partnership with regional and international actors have put diverse measures to control cattle rustling and proliferation of illicit SALW. Many of these efforts have borne limited results. In order to build resilience, the study recommends the following; control of proliferation of illicit SALW, increased cross-border collaboration,investment in alternative livelihood programs, promotion of cultural dialogue on conflict resolution mechanisms,strengthen local governance structures, and development and harmonization of livestock identification and traceability systems (LITS).
This report makes an assessment of the legislative framework harmonization processes in the Central African Republic (CAR), Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. It was commissioned by the Regional Centre on Small Arms and Light Weapons (RECSA).
It covers the period of September to December, 2015.The key objectives for developing the report were to:
Identify milestones reached by each country in the harmonization of SALW legislation;
Identify major challenges faced by Member States in the harmonization of SALW legislation;
Identify the Government Organs responsible for Harmonization of Legislation and procedures followed in each country of Study; and
Make strategic recommendations that will be followed to speed up the harmonization of legislation.
The report reviewed both the existing laws and draft Bills in the four countries. Tanzania's Firearms and Ammunition Control Act, the CAR's Penal Code and the draft Bills of both Uganda and Kenya were reviewed to assess the extent of their compliance and harmonization with regional and international instruments.
Lack of an independent and autonomous Agency, Organization or Commission to act as the NFP. The NFP and similar institutions are departments with the National Police or ministries responsible for interior and government coordination;
The offences do not provide for minimum and maximum sentences for the listed offences as required by the UNPoA. They instead provide for either the minimum or maximum and not both;
Lack of provisions relating to violation of UNSC embargoes in the Firearms Control Bill as required under the ATT and UNPOA;
Lack of provisions for regional and international cooperation including mutual legal assistance in the Firearms Control Bill;
Limitation of Civil Society and private security companies' participation in membership of the Firearms Vetting and Licensing Board;
Lack or inadequate provisions on tracing and stockpile management in the Firearms Control Bill;
Lack of a decentralized framework and clear institutional framework to deal with SALW in the Firearms Control Bill; and
Lack of specific provision on reciprocal recognition of licenses and permits from other jurisdictions.
The gaps identified in the Bill are however,well provided for in the National Policy on SALW,2014.
The report noted that harmonization of national small arms and light weapons (SALW) laws with SALW regional and instruments in the RECSA region is progressing well, albeit with varying degree of success in each of the four review countries. Tanzania has successfully harmonized its SALW laws with related international and regional instruments. It has a Firearms and Ammunition Control Act, 2015 since May 2015 but had not yet started its implementation by the time of the study. On the other hand, the CAR does not have a specific law that deals with SALW but there are provisions in the Penal Code and Wildlife Code that deal with use of firearms. CAR has also not commenced the harmonization process and has not yet established the Harmonization Committee. Both Kenya and Uganda have specific laws that deal with SALW but their Firearms Acts were enacted before Independence and are thus not harmonized with the regional and international instruments they subscribe to. The two countries have draft Small Arms Management and Control Bill, 2014 and the Firearms Control Bill, 2014 respectively which,when enacted into law will make their laws largely compliant with SALW regional and international instruments.
At the national level, each country has put mechanisms in place to fight crime.Despite the measures crime and insecurity constitute one of the biggest threats to regional integration and development.According to the U.S. Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), 2015 Crime and Security Report, the U.S. government rates Kenya as critical for crime and terrorism and Uganda as critical for crime and high for terrorism. Crime and terrorism are also cited as concerns in Tanzania. The report describes the overall security situation in Burundi as stable but cites concerns about violent crime and targeted political violence . However the situation in Burundi deteriorated after April 2015 due to political differences regarding the third term for the incumbent President.According to Jones (December, 15th,2015), the political violence has left more than 800 Burundians dead and more than 400,000 as refugees. A report by USAID(2012) observed that conflict and instability trends in East Africa make the region one of the most unstable ones in the world. The report further indicates that significant portions of East Africa remained unsafe due to unending armed conflicts, violent crime, extremism, communal violence and political instability.
This analysis focuses on armed crime rates in the region. Armed crime refers to commission of a felony under the laws of the state by, with, or through the use, assistance, or aid of a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon 5 , in this case a firearm.
Small arms circulation across the borders has been identified as one of the key drivers of armed conflicts in the region.